Monday, March 3, 2014

The Economics of Intelligence and Creativity

Intelligence and creativity are the new economy - the knowledge economy.  Individuals who are able to adapt quickly and make use of technologies to build new solutions to old problems while helping to shape the future through innovation are the clear winners. The differentiators are 'what we know', 'who we know' AND 'how quickly we can adapt'. The combination of know-how, social media, and technology is lethal for individuals who are stuck in the industrial age.

Intelligence and creativity are driving the new economy at hyper-connected speeds where being average is no longer viable. Everyone has to step up and redefine their own 'How-To' in order to interact with this new world. Knowledge is the key.

Strong knowledge economies contain:
  • Appropriate economic incentives and institutional regimes
  • Skilled, flexible, and creative people
  • Dynamic information structure
  • Efficient innovation systems

Some tasks for knowledge workers include:
  • Information gathering and data mining
  • Data analysis and trend identification
  • Understanding cause and effect
  • Brainstorming or modifying strategies

Reinforcing the knowledge economy requires schools that are able to respond - and many traditional institutions are not even close. Peter Drucker and others have demonstrated forcefully, workers at all levels in the 21st century economy will need to be lifelong learners, adapting continuously to changed opportunities, work practices, business models, and forms of economic and social organization. Education systems will have to adapt accordingly...

Final Report of the Knowledge Economy Forum
World Bank and OECD 

Do schools kill creativity? Take a few minutes to listen to Sir Ken Robinson's humorous examination of this very serious topic.

If schools kill creativity, then Destination Imagination (DI) is the type of organization that brings it back to life. DI nurtures teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving which are essential ingredients in the knowledge economy.
Destination Imagination encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus, and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts, and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.
My daughter is in her second year with DI thanks to a tremendous and tireless Team Manager. After watching her team work through various scenarios and serving as a tournament appraiser this year, I'm inspired to ask the question - 'should DI challenge elements be used to help screen job candidates?'

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